Clemson - Furman Game Notes

The Tigers open the 2007-08 season tonight against the Furman Paladins at Littlejohn Coliseum.

• Clemson has won each of its last 22 opening games. The last time Clemson did not win the season opener was in 1984-85 when Clemson lost to Tennessee Tech in Cliff Ellis's first game as head coach. Ellis went on to become Clemson's winningest coach.

• Oliver Purnell is 4-0 in season openers at Clemson with an average victory margin of 35.75 points per game. He has won nine straight season openers as a Division I head coach.

• Clemson has won 25 consecutive games against Furman, including 17 in a row at Littlejohn Coliseum. Furman's last win over the Tigers took place in 1977-78 at Clemson.

• Clemson has a 73-5 all-time record in Littlejohn Coliseum over Southern Conference schools. This will be Clemson's only game against a Southern Conference school this year.

• Clemson forward James Mays was named to the Playboy All-American preseason team. He is the first Tiger in history to be named to that team.

• Cliff Hammonds has been named the captain of the Clemson team. He is the first single captain of a Clemson team since Chris Hobbs in 2003-04. In October, Hammonds was inducted into the Blue Key honor society at Clemson.

• Clemson has an 18-1 record in the month of November under Oliver Purnell and has won 13 games in a row. Clemson is 81-15 all-time in November.

• Demontez Stitt is slated to start the game at point guard for the Tigers. He will be the 17th first-year freshman to start the opening game for the Tigers since freshman eligibility returned to college basketball in 1972-73. He will be the sixth point guard in school history and the fourth player under Oliver Purnell to start the opening game as freshman. Vernon Hamilton, Cliff Hammonds and Trevor Booker all started the first game of the season under Purnell.

• Clemson was picked 12th in the preseason college basketball poll by Basketball Times. The Tigers were also ranked 22nd by Street & Smith. The Tigers are 29th in poll points by USA Today and 30th by Associated Press. Clemson was picked to finish fourth in the ACC by the official ACC preseason poll done by the ACC Sports Media Association. That is Clemson's highest preseason selection since a third- place projection prior to the 1997-98 season, Rick Barnes final year at Clemson.

• Clemson won its exhibition game against Augusta State on November 6 by a 79-66 score. K.C. Rivers and Terrence Oglesby led the way with 15 points apiece, while James Mays and Demontez Still added 14 apiece.

• Furman lost its season opener at UNC Asheville on Friday night, 78-75.

Clemson vs. Furman Series
• Furman is Clemson's oldest rival in basketball. The first game in Clemson men's basketball history was played against Furman in Greenville on Feb. 9, 1912 and the Tigers came away with a 46-12 victory. Furman had begun its basketball history four years earlier against South Carolina.

• Clemson holds a 93-51 lead in the series, has won each of the last 25 games, and 33 of the last 34. Clemson has won 17 in a row played in Littlejohn Coliseum and 25 of 26 overall in the facility since the first year of Littlejohn Coliseum, the 1968-69 season.

• Furman's last win over Clemson took place during the 1977-78 season when Furman won at Littlejohn by an 87-68 score. Furman has come close to defeating Clemson many times during the 25-game Tiger winning streak. Seven of the 25 victories have been by four points or less and 10 have been by eight points or less. Prior to last year's nine-point Clemson win, the Tigers beat the Paladins by a 74-70 score at the BiLo Center in Greenville in 1999-00.

• The closest Furman has come to defeating Clemson in the last 25 meetings was a 51-50 Clemson win in Greenville in 1982-83. There have been three two-point decisions, including a 55-53 Clemson win in overtime in Greenville in 1984-85, Cliff Ellis's first season as Clemson coach.

• Defense has been a key for Clemson against Furman over the years. The Paladins have failed to score 75 points against the Tigers in 23 of the last 25 contests. Their high total is 83 in an 87-83 Clemson win in 1991-92. Top Stories